Online reputation marketing and management covers both establishing the image of your “brand” or company, and controlling that image. Studies have shown that customers often base their purchasing decisions on perceptions, rather than facts. If a customer believes a certain mass merchandise store mistreats their employees, for instance, they will be less inclined to shop at that store. Just as large businesses can gain or lose customers through boycotts or “buycotts”, so can a local business. The impact of reputation, however, is greater on a small business than a large one. If Wal-Mart, for example, sees a 1% sales drop, they suffer less impact than a local business, because they will make it back over time. They are a very big fish in the pond, so to speak. On the other hand, if a local business is seen negatively, it may go out of business.